Thursday, June 30, 2016


Zürich, Switzerland


As I was finishing my hike to Johnson Farm, I noticed this deer on the edge of one of the farm fields. I knew it was popular with the local deer population from previous visits, so I wasn't at all surprised to see this one show up. And I thought I was being plagued by flies! I only slowed down long enough to snap these pictures. After that, I was off like a shot trying to lose them, hands flailing over my head as I went. 

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Rudolf Brun

Rudolf Brun's Tombstone
St. Peterskirche
Zürich, Switzerland

"Rudolf Brun, (born c. 1300—died Sept. 17, 1360, Zürich) Swiss politician who became the first burgomaster, and virtual dictator, of Zürich, and whose struggles to maintain personal power ultimately brought the city into the Swiss Confederation (1351)." ~ Encyclopaedia Britannica

Hay Rake

From the appearance of this vintage horse drawn hay rake, I wasn't sure whether it might have seen service recently or not. In any case, it was only one of several such implements on display at Johnson Farm.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016


St. Peterskirche
Zürich, Switzerland

The Garden

Looking back now across the family's garden to the orchard beyond.

Another view of the garden beyond--this one from the family's fenced in backyard.

Monday, June 27, 2016


I suppose I may be one of those rare (peculiar?) individuals who bothers to read signs. I find I learn a lot from them both about the places I visit but also about languages. Here I was curious about how the German word Gottesdienst was used in the place of what we in the States might have referred to as simply Worship or Church Service. As one might expect, the German term strikes me as a bit more precise.

The Farm

Arrived just as the sun was disappearing behind the trees. Took this shot through the apple orchard. More pics to come.

Sunday, June 26, 2016


St. Peterskirche
Zürich, Switzerland

"A choir, also sometimes spelled quire, is the area of a church or cathedral that provides seating for the clergy and church choir. It is in the western part of the chancel between the nave and the sanctuary which houses the altar and Church tabernacle. In larger medieval churches it contained choir-stalls, seating aligned with the side of the church, so at right-angles to the seating for the congregation in the nave (of which there would have been little if any in the Middle Ages). Smaller medieval churches may not have a choir in the architectural sense at all, and they are often lacking in churches built by all denominations after the Protestant Reformation, though the Gothic Revival revived them as a distinct feature."~ Wikipedia

Johnson Farm Trail

Johnson Farm is located along the Blue Ridge Parkway, north of Roanoke, Virginia. I decided to visit it just before dusk one evening last week.

Saturday, June 25, 2016


St. Peterskirche
Zürich, Switzerland

Big Meadows

Several interesting facts about Big Meadows:

  • 3500 feet above sea level
  • contains two wetlands that support globally rare plant communities believed to be endemic to the park
  • early European settlers reported an abundant variety of animals that had disappeared by the mid-1800s including bison, elk, beaver, otters, timber wolf, white- tailed deer, cougars, turkey, black bear, and bobcats
  • recently, most of these species (except bison, elk and possibly cougars) have returned to the park due to reintroduction or natural population recovery

As for cougars, there have been purported sightings ever since I first starting backpacking in the park. To date, though, none of these has ever been confirmed.

Friday, June 24, 2016


Church of St. Peter in Zürich: "Located next to the Lindenhof hill, site of the former Roman castle, it was built on the site of a temple to Jupiter. An early church of 10 by 7 metres is archaeologically attested for the 8th or 9th century. This building was replaced by an early Romanesque church around AD 1000, in turn replaced in 1230 by a late romanesque structure, parts of which survive. Rudolf Brun, first independent mayor of the town, was buried here in 1360. The nave was rebuilt in 1460 in Gothic style. Prior to the Reformation, St. Peter was the only parish church of the town, the rest being part of monasteries.

The current building was consecrated in 1706 as the first church built under Protestant rule. Its congregation forms part of the Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Zürich. Until 1911, the steeple was manned by a fire watch. Restoration work was carried out in 1970 to 1975. The steeple's clock face has a diameter of 8.7 m [28.5 ft], the largest church clock face in Europe. The bells date to 1880.

Peculiarly, the church's steeple is owned by the city of Zürich, while the nave is owned by the St. Peter parish of the Evangelical Reformed Church of the Canton of Zürich." ~ Wikipedia

Visitor Center

The National Park Service's Harry F. Byrd, Sr. Visitor Center in Big Meadows, Virginia, where the flag was flying at half mast as a result of the Orlando tragedy. That's Iron Mike to the left in the second photo commemorating the men of the CCC who helped create and develop Shenandoah National Park.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

The Tame Pigeon

Just wish I could have visited the Tame Pigeon while I was in Zürich. :-)

Full Retreat

So I was trundling along, admiring the lush undergrowth alongside the trail to Hawksbill's summit, and frankly not paying much attention to what was in front of me, when I suddenly glanced up. . .

and caught sight of this black bear (below) a few yards in front of me. 

Now I'll have to tell ya that I'm not one to be easily deterred from achieving my objectives. Being so near the summit, I was determined to press on in the hope that the big guy (gal?) would just move on and allow me to pass as sometimes happens. But, for whatever reason, this bear was having none of it. Each time I made a move to pass, he made a move closer to the trail until I finally decided it was time to retreat and snapped this picture on the way out of Dodge. 

Sorry for the fuzzy pic. I was just a tad more focused on avoiding trouble (and falling over a rock) than I was on the bear.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Swiss Scouts

The young lady to the left is an adult scout leader. She was supervising some scouts who you can see playing in the background at Lindenhof Hill Park. At the same time, she kindly agreed to take photos for a tour group that also was visiting the park.

Upper Hawksbill Trailhead

So I pulled my car off Skyline Drive this past week long enough to hike up Hawksbill Mountain. It's been ages since I was here last. Yet it could have been yesterday as much as anything has changed.

Couldn't help but smile at the comment about aliens. Made me wonder what experience prompted THAT remark! This trail really can seem strange. You don't have to walk far before you feel like you have entered another world.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Sunday, June 19, 2016


The inscription on the wall to the right is Lucius Aelius Urbicus' grave stone (200 AD) at the upper part of the Pfalzgasse on Lindenhof hill. Really. The city is that old. Everything else you see in this pic? The medieval stuff? Modern history. :-)

That's the Church of St. Peter (now Evangelical Reformed) in the background sporting the largest church clock in Europe. A church has stood at that spot since at least the 8th or 9th century.

BTW, check out the steps to the left of the street. Betcha the residents here appreciate this in the winter and on days when those cobblestones are slick with rain.


Interesting. I've been hiking and backpacking up in these mountains since I was a kid and I still wouldn't have been able to tell you what species of trees grow at various altitudes. Now I know. :-)

"Today Shenandoah N[ational] P[ark] is greater than 95% forested. Over half of the land is dominated by either chestnut or red oak forests situated on the ridge tops and upper slopes. Mid-slope positions support areas of mixed hardwood forests that include maple (Acer spp.), birch (Betula spp.), ash (Fraxinusspp.), and basswood (Tilia americana) trees. Yellow poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) forests are found on the lower slopes and along streams." ~

Saturday, June 18, 2016


In a shop window.

Mountain Retreat

Decided to retreat to the mountains for a brief hike or two a couple of days ago. You're a long way from the world's news (and noise) up there. 

The CCC built these stone guardrails. There are miles and miles of them along the Skyline Drive and Blue Ridge Parkway. This one happens to be at the Indian Run Overlook on the Skyline.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Die Gassen der Alstadt

One could get lost wandering the streets and alleys of Zürich's old town.

The Peace of Wild Things

When despair for the world grows in me 
and I wake in the night at the least sound 
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be, 
I go and lie down where the wood drake 
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds. 
I come into the peace of wild things 
who do not tax their lives with forethought 
of grief. I come into the presence of still water. 
And I feel above me the day-blind stars 
waiting with their light. For a time 
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

Thursday, June 16, 2016


Okay, so the flowers were covering up some of the critical information on the sign. Still, they were eye-catching.

And if you really wanted to know what Doris' business was all about, you could have knocked on the door and inquired. 

Black-crowned Night Heron

Couldn't have been more surprised to see this Black-crowned Night Heron fishing along the banks of the C&O Canal a few days ago. I rarely see this variety of heron and I can only guess that the recent fluctuations in water levels on this stretch of the canal, combined with an especially lush spring, have brought them out of hiding.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

1 of 1200

One of Zürich's 1200 fountains. So, no, don't worry. I really didn't try to photograph the other 1199. Okay, maybe one or two more. But that's it! I promise.


Revrunner was number 1,286 for the day at Rosslyn's famed bikeometer.

Dang! There's always someone out there who wants to one-up you. :-)